For this month's Inquirer, we caught up with guitarist Corin Tucker of Sleater-Kinney, whose latest release, Live in Paris, is available now on Sub Pop.
What inspired you to first pick up a guitar?
My family is fairly musical and my dad is a pretty good guitarist. He performed when he was younger as a folk musician, and he actually opened for Pete Seeger once. He had a lot of [acoustic] guitars around the house and I was always picking them up...and putting them down because I found it a hard instrument on the fingers. But finally when I went to college and saw other female musicians—bands like Bikini Kill and Mecca Normal—I was like, “Oh I wanna do that!” That’s when I really started trying to learn.
What was your first guitar?
A guitar my dad built. He had taken [parts] from this weird Swedish guitar, maybe a Hagstrom, and then he made a body for it by hand and painted it. I thought it was really cool so he gave it to me. I played that in my first band, took it all over on tour and recorded several albums with it. I didn’t buy my own guitar until we made Dig Me Out. I finally bought an Ibanez in Olympia, but that wasn’t until like 1995. So I played my dad’s guitar for years, until he eventually repossessed it. [laughs] But it’s still in the family.
What do you remember about the first gig you ever played?
Well, the first thing I ever did was tell people I was in a band. [laughs] Michelle Noel was organizing [1991’s] International Pop Underground Convention and she called me and said, “Hey,...